What is EPO?

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EPO is a hormone that a body produces in a natural way by the kidneys. But EPO may also be produced in an artificial manner. It is a hormone that can help athletes enhance their performance in sporting events.

How does EPO work?

This hormone can increase the endurance of persons and as such, EPO is widely used by those who engage in long-distance running. Those who use EPO will have to inject the hormone under their skin that in turn acts as a stimulant when the body produces the red blood cells.

A person who has more red blood cells in their body also has more oxygen that can be distributed to the various muscles. This results in the delay of fatigue or feeling of tiredness that can greatly help athletes run for a longer period.

There were several tests that were conducted in Australia. The tests showed that the performance of an athlete can improve within four weeks of taking the drug that can be compared to the improvement that takes years to achieve.

Detection of use

It can be quite difficult to determine if a person is using EPO since the use of the said hormone cannot be traced with the use of the usual drug tests.

Some methods of testing for the use of EPO was developed in France, which makes use of blood and urine samples that undergo analysis. The results of the urine and blood analysis are compared.

Dangers of EPO

Using EPO increases blood viscosity which may result in lower hematocrit or the percentage that the red blood cells occupy in the whole blood. A low hematocrit is not desirable since it dilutes the blood.

It can also lead to the sudden death of an athlete while sleeping since the body has developed anemia from the continuous use of EPO.

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